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Exhibit: The Chief: Yosemite Winter Mural


The Chief: Yosemite Winter Mural

The stained glass murals of Yosemite are the culmination of many years of drawing, design and fine craftsmanship.  The artist, William Poulson, is inspired by the extraordinary beauty of the Yosemite Valley, the words of John Muir, and the paintings of artist Albert Bierstadt. In 1986, he spent three months camping in the Yosemite Valley and sketching from different viewpoints. Once the design and composition were complete, he spent 10 months perfecting the full-scale drawings. It then took a full year to do the actual glass cutting and assembling, using 2200 pieces cut from the finest American glass available. The mural is done in the traditional method of leaded glass and copperfoil, reinforced with steel. The Winter Mural, “The Chief” was completed in 2008. The chief depicts a winter night scene with the full moon over the Cathedral Spires, and El Capitan on the other side of the snow covered valley.

William Poulson was born in 1941 in Oakland, California and grew up in Castro Valley. He left college in 1962 to become a journeyman carpenter, and worked in the building trade for over 20 years. William has had his studio and art gallery in Arnold, CA, for 29 years. He uses his carpentry skills in designing and building fine furniture pieces, which are in several galleries in California and New Mexico. His unique glass creations are in homes, churches and hotels throughout the world.

In 1986, he was inspired to begin a project that captures the beauty of the Yosemite Valley in four glass murals to represent each season. The Fall and Winter Seasons are complete, and he is presently working on the Spring Mural. To learn more about Bill Poulson and the Four Seasons of Yosemite Mural Project, visit

For more information about this exhibit, please contact Elizabeth Salmon at